My Hair Journey // Curly & Processed

Hello, there! Welcome back to my blog. If you’re here for the first time, welcome! I’m so glad you stumbled onto my page. I feel I haven’t introduced myself in a while, so I’m Clare. If you’d like to read more about me please check out the “ABOUT” tab!

Leading Up To “The Cut”

Up until 2016, I had what hair professionals would call “virgin” hair. As in, I had never done anything to it aside from trims and cuts. I was never very accepting of my curls though. In middle school I started straightening it, and loved the attention I’d get from classmates. I’d always felt that “smooth, straight” hair was more attractive. It was a lie I wish I’d never believed.

Fast forward to high school. By the beginning of my senior year, my hair was FRIED. I’d gotten into the habit of straightening it every. single. morning. This led to so much breakage/damage to my hair that I had to have seven inches cut off. In a way, my hair was a security blanket to me, and chopping it off was my worst nightmare.

Pre-cut in 2014
Post-cut in 2014

Can we take a moment and laugh at the camera quality, eyebrows, and awkward poses? Yiiiiikes.

Anyway, I spent the next couple years growing my hair out, vowing to never put as much heat on it as I had in the past. I was determined to get my hair healthy again!

The “Highlight” of 2016

This is when we get into some murky water though. In 2016, I decided to dye my hair. I wanted highlights because I’d always felt my color was dull and boring. So, I found a hairstylist who specialized in blonde coloring, (she’s amazing & I love her dearly) and she gave me beautiful highlights. I was IN LOVE.

I highlighted my hair like this for a little over a year. I got trims and minor haircuts throughout this time, resulting in a variety of lengths. It was around this time that I made the switch from shampoos and conditioners like TRESemmé to higher-end brands. I began experimenting with Diva Curl, AG, etc., and with styling creams for curly hair. (Curly hair frizz is the biggest struggle.)

Taking It To The Next Level

In 2017, I decided the highlights weren’t enough. I wanted to be platinum. My hairstylist warned me that it was a long process, and that it was expensive to maintain. I had already made up my mind though. So, over the next eight-nine months, she took me from blonde to platinum. I had never been more in love with my hair. It was a drastic change, but it was beautiful, and made me feel confident; it made me stand out.

My Breaking Point

Now, I’ve always had fine hair (in context to how thick the strands are), but it was always full due to the amount of hair/curls I have. I noticed that over the course of the next year though, it slowly started to thin out. The ends were breaking, and by May of last year, my hair had completely stopped growing… or at least it felt like it. I wasn’t having my hairstylist do anything more than trims, and yet it got shorter and shorter. My goal was to grow it out, but it seemed impossible.

In May of 2018, I reached a breaking point (pun-intended). I decided the platinum color wasn’t worth the damage I was doing to my hair. Now, my hairstylist is great. She always took amazing care of my hair, but I was so insistent on the *perfect* white/platinum color, that it pushed my hair to its limits. So, begrudgingly, I decided to dye it back to my natural color.

Getting Back To My Roots

You should have seen the look on my hairstylist’s face when I told her I wanted to go darker. We’d just spent a year bleaching it to no end, and now I was ready to get back to my roots… quite literally.

The color you see above faded a little and blended a lot better with my natural color, but it was shocking (to say the least) at first. None the less, I liked it. She left she ends of my hair alone, so I still had a pretty ombré with platinum ends.

I grieved my platinum color for a long time, and almost dyed it back more times than I can count. I knew that I couldn’t though, and so I spent months on end going in for deep conditioning treatments (which I feel helped my hair’s health immensely), and avoided putting heat on it. I even used the best of the best hair products, and just let it grow.

Because I had spent years ruining my hair, I didn’t expect it to bounce back right away. It’s been hard. I don’t want to sound dramatic, but going from feeling my most confident to my least (regarding my hair — I mean, I really loved the color) was rough.

Today

Dyeing my hair back to a more natural color was the first step in “fixing” it, and while it’s improved drastically, it’s still not where I want it to be. For a long while I couldn’t even wear my hair pulled back due to the breakage. Now, my hair’s grown back fuller and healthier than my pre-platinum days, and my natural color is mostly back.

Right now, I’m currently using Pantene (if I told my hairstylist, I think she’d have a heart attack). I know it’s not the best for it, but it’s helping with my curl pattern and all that jazz. I’m working every day towards loving my hair again, and if I could give you ANY advice, it’d be to, for the love of God, LEAVE YOUR HAIR ALONE. Or, at least, don’t bleach it like I did.

Some people can definitely get away with bleaching it like I did, but for those who have fine, and maybe curly hair like I do, it might not be your best bet.

All in all, love your hair, learn to accept it for what it is, and please learn from my mistakes.

As always, thanks for reading.

Yours truly, Clare

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